All About Lip Blush Pain

What the Experts Have to Say About Lip Blush Pain

Lip blush is a modern method in cosmetology that allows you to hide some imperfections by correcting the shape and the color of the lips. But many are concerned about the question of whether it hurts to do permanent makeup. The pain of the procedure depends on several factors:


First, there is a psychological aspect. If the client trusts the specialist, it will be easier to relax and the procedure will be less painful. If the client is scared the discomfort will increase, causing muscle tension and it also prevents the needle from moving freely. This is why it is really important to do research and choose the artist wisely. Besides artistic aspect of the tattoo artist you might want to check to these essential elements, to be build trust and great relationship:

  • Competence in knowledge;
  • Competence in social/communication skills;
  • Honesty;
  • Confidentiality and caring;
  • Showing respect.

Quality of equipment and tools. 

Unpleasant sensations can be associated with the use of improper equipment that is not intended for tattooing lips, eyelids, eyebrows, so it hurts to do it. 

Personal Pain Tolerance

The strength of pain is an individual characteristic. Some can tolerate even severe pain, while others can hardly tolerate minor discomfort. The cause of increased soreness may be a low pain threshold of sensitivity in humans. 

Incorrectly Selected or Weak Anesthetic

Incorrectly selected or weak anesthetic is also a common cause of pain during the procedure. Topical anesthetics are used before and during permanent makeup and available in the form of creams, gels, and liquids. Most numbing products used for permanent makeup procedures include one of the three active pharmaceutical ingredients (API's), benzocaine. It reduces pain and discomfort, rapid numbing in less than a minute... Once numb, effective for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Benzocaine is NOT suitable for the eye area. This is the fastest acting "caine"

Lidocaine. It also reduces pain and discomfort.  Lidocaine has an onset of under 2 minutes with a duration of 1 to 2 hours.
Tetracaine. Topical agent that reduces pain and discomfort. Once numb, lasts for up to 15 minutes.
Epinephrine is a powerful ingredient that works as a vasoconstrictor. It tightens blood vessels, therefore, reducing swelling and bleeding during tattooing. Epinephrine is used in some topical anesthetics to constrict blood flow while implanting pigment. Anesthetics that have epinephrine in them are not suitable for removal or paramedical tattooing, as we want blood to flow naturally.

Note: this has a very rapid onset, especially when applied to open skin. However, the duration is only 5-10 minutes.
BLT is an anesthetic commonly used in the medical field. It is a combination of Benzocaine, Lidocaine, and Tetracaine. BLT is popular for PMU and Paramedical Tattooing. Using a numbing cream with 3 different Caines can be more effective if someone does not numb well with one of the numbing agents, there are two others to fall back on. Once numb, lasts for about 20-30 minutes. All API's most commonly included in permanent makeup numbing creams have the same basic mechanism of action.

Professionalism of the artist

Professionalism of the artist, which comes with years of practice. Seasoned permanent makeup artists will know what depth to work on not causing trauma, pain and scarring. 

Pre-Procedure/Primary Numbing Cream:

Primary Topical Numbing Cream is applied prior to the procedure for 15-20 minutes. After applying the numbing cream, artist may then "occlude" the area. 

Occlusion is covering the numbing cream with plastic wrap. This penetrates the numbing cream into the skin.

During Procedure/Secondary Numbing Gels & Liquids:

Secondary Numbing is applied as needed during the procedure.

Too much numbing can make the area hard and rubbery. This will make it harder to implant the pigment into the skin.

Lip blushing tattoo procedure

A lip blushing session is similar to lip traditional tattooing. It’s accomplished in the following way:

  1. First, the artist will go over your desired lip shape and tone, as well as any sketches that need your approval.
  2. Then you will be numbed using topical anesthesia for several minutes.
  3. Next, the artist will insert a desired color pigment into your lips using small sterile disposable needles or needle. This is done in multiple layers to help create an even tone.
  4. In all, the process can take between 2 and 3 hours. It depends on the skill of the artist, shape and size of the lips and lip skin tissue as well. Sometimes neutralization of dark lips can take longer time depending on color choices and layers (we call it passes).

Potential side effects and precautions

Lip blushing carries the same side effects and risks as traditional tattooing. Minor side effects are to be expected, though they’ll decrease as your lips heal. These include:

  • swelling
  • redness
  • pain

If that happens to you, you might want to try applying ice packed wrapped in clean tissue or towel.

Without proper aftercare and healing, your lips may become infected. Call a doctor if you notice:

  • excessive swelling
  • worsening pain
  • pus oozing from your lips

That is why it is really important to follow the aftercare recommendation. There is more information upon booking your appointment, but few important things to remember after lip blushing is to dab the lips with sterile water wipes are provided after the procedure in order to remove the lymphatic fluid. Then the client can apply given ointment like a&d ointment, aquaphor healing ointment etc And avoid direct sun exposure.

A severe infection may also cause a fever and chills.

Other possible side effects include:

  • itchiness
  • rash
  • scars
  • skin bumps
  • uneven coloring
  • blood-borne illnesses from shared equipment. ( All artists have to have blood borne pathogen certificate)
  • cold sores. Cold sores are very common, so if you know you get cold sores you need to talk to your doctor, so he or she or they can prescribe antiviral medecin.

With lip blush, we go over each lip about 4 times. In between each pass we apply a secondary numbing agent that works on broken skin. Most would say the first pass is a bit spicy and then every pass after the secondary numbing agent, which is made to work on broken skin is applied, the pain is extremely minimal to none. Some clients even fall asleep at this point while getting tattooed. At First Class Cosmetics we prefer to use numbing agents to make sure our clients are kept to the maximum comfort level for the entire procedure. 

One really important factor on what can make lip blushing hurt is smoking weed before your lip blush session. Smoking weed makes you more sensitive and more able to feel things while you get lip blush tattooed. It also can make many clients very paranoid. Being that in America lip blush is a relatively new procedure many people are scared when they come for their first session. Smoking weed can intensify this fear and make your lip blush experience not as enjoyable as it should be. When it comes to receiving lip blush - save the weed for later!

See What Clients Are Saying!

Gabriela Reutter

lip blush pain review 1

What They Said: 

"The pain only feels when numbing is going away"

Pain 1-10 Scale:

 2 when it is numbed, 6 when numbing is going away

Darya Rozhkova

lip blush pain review 2

What They Said

"Scratching feeling toward the end after going over it more than once. Overall very little to no pain though. For me it was near the corners but maybe it is because those areas were the hardest to get the pigment to stick because when I exfoliate it is mostly the middle of the lips."

Pain 1-10 scale:


Vanessa Schmidt

lip blush pain review 3

What They Said

"It was like little tiny pinches all over the lips"

Pain 1-10 scale: 


Michelle Jaquez

lip blush pain review 4

What They Said

“I was sensitive and felt little pain during the first pass, but I was told the secondary numbing will be used, and wow it was strong, my lips were numb and did not feel pain.

Pain 1-10 scale: 



lip blush pain review 5

What They Said

"I was feeling very comfortable throughout my whole lip blush experience. Zhanna was keeping me at most 3-4 out pf 10 pain level. Even the first pass wasn't as painful as I thought it would be. Although, definitely. towards the end of the service I started having my lips more sensitive and tender. Even though everyone is different, my experience was something I would do again. Especially since the anesthesia was working wonders."

Pain 1-10 scale:


Deb Harmatz

lip blush pain review 6

What They Said

"The start was a bit painful but the more u numbed me the less I felt. The most painful parts were the lining of the lips than the filling of them."

Pain 1-10 scale:


Zhanna Zakharova

lip blush pain review 7

What They Said

"Being a Permanent makeup artist myself, I was really curious how does it feel getting lip blushed. Because, I already have gotten Powder brows, eyeliner cosmetic tattoos. So I really did not believe in the effect of prenumbing cream that has 5% of Lidocaine since it is applied on the surface of the skin and not on the broken skin, but I was amazed it worked really well, I only felt small touches like scratching skin, not puncturing. But when secondary numbing cream applied after first pass, that is it, your lips are frozen and it feels like they do not belong to your face lol. Also, I should mention when the numbing gel is going away you start feeling little pain and that is totally ok and completely tolerable. Some clients ask to apply again, some do not. I had clients who asked me not to use numbing at all, since they did not like the feeling to be numbed. So everyone is different. "

Pain 1-10 scale:


Alizee Santiago

lip blush pain review 8

What They Said:

“I will give it a 6 before the second pass. After the secondary numbing agent is applied, passes 2-4 are about a 2 on the pain scale of 1-10. 

Pain 1-10 scale: 


Book Your NYC Lip Blushing Tattoo with Velvet Cosmetic Tattoos!

In conclusion, getting a lip tattoo is not particularly painful. The better a client follows pre care instructions the less painful and more smoothly the tattoo will feel on the day it is created. If you have caffeine/alcohol/or blood thinning medications in your system this will make you more sensitive to receiving the tattoo as well as potentially compromise your healed results and ink retention. Attending your appointment with super dry and chapped lips will also cause you to be more sensitive while being tattooed as well. Hydration is key and starts from within. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water a few days before your session will help a lot with dry skin. Its also great to exfoliate 24 hours prior and use your favorite moisturizing lip mask to keep your lips soft and fresh for your tattoo day. Keep lips moisturized for your permanent makeup services. Pre care is very important when it comes to having your lips tattooed. 

Lip tattooing is one of the most difficult tattoos to preform. Be sure to do your research and book your lip color lip blush tattoo with an artist who has a strong education and it well trained. Proper technique is also a factor in lip blushing pain. Lip blushing is truly for everyone especially when done by the right artist! 

There are even some clients who prefer no numbing. This can be done but of course will cause more discomfort while going through lip blush tattooing. Cosmetic tattooing is far less painful than a traditional tattoo, so if you've ever had a body tattoo you will be totally fine when it comes to the cosmetic world! Lip blush tattoo is a huge game changer! Say goodbye to wearing lipstick! Enjoy having a permanent lip color that won't wash off! The minimal amount of pain you will experience getting your permanent lip tattoo will be well worth it! Lip blushing lasts 2-3 years so you can enjoy the benefits of lip blushing for years! Lip blushing is growing in popularity, and clients are raving about the results!